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Disarmament connotes the process of reducing or eliminating weapons. It is also a term used to refer to the act of setting fixed limits to the number of weapons a state may possess, even if the threshold has not yet been reached and therefore no currently existing weapons have to be given up—a policy called arms control. This entry distinguishes between two types of disarmament: a one-sided disarmament that victorious powers impose on a defeated enemy after a war to prevent another military conflict or to punish and permanently subdue the adversary; and a mutual disarmament that governments negotiate and consent to voluntarily to stop an arms race, provide stability, cut military expenditures, and reduce the risk of war. The entry then discusses nuclear disarmament—the ...

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